Are you a good person? The apostle Paul used to think so. But then he became a Christian and came to believe that, by nature, he was spiritually dead, blind to the truth, and hostile to the authority of God (Ephesians 2, 1 Corinthians 1, Romans 8). That’s a pretty depressing status update to put on your social media feed, right?
Wrong. Paul was actually the happiest, most joyful, peaceful, content, satisfied soul you could ever meet. He was the guy who wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). He’s the Christian we quote when we feel weak: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). He’s the guy we want to be like, because he said, “I have learned the secret of being content” (Philippians 4:12). How could a guy who believed he was so bad by nature end up feeling so good? Answer—Jesus. Paul knew that without Jesus he was a mess but with Jesus he was a miracle of grace.
You are too. As a Christian, you are in Christ. You’re included in all the love, affection, and attention that the Father gives his Son. God sent his Son and then his Spirit to transform your identity—to make the spiritually dead you live, to make the spiritually blind you see, to make the spiritually hostile you joyfully submit to Jesus’ authority.
No, without Jesus we are not good people. But with Jesus we are not just good. We are the best—children of God!